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M. Leary

Top Ten of the Decade

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There is also a very soft spot in my heart for Garden State and I know I'm alone in this. I would think that this would merit a more visceral negative reaction than The Black Dahlia to most around these parts.

Winterbottom Schminterbottom. Be a man and pick 9 Songs.

I forgot to respond to this. It made me laugh. I watched the first 15 minutes of 9 Songs about two weeks ago. I was watching it alone and on the computer and decided it was just as good as watching porn on the computer so I shut it off.

It sure was cool to see the Black Motorcycle Club performance though.

Edited by Persona

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Final PS: If we're going to list a film to pick on in someone's Top 10 List, let's pick on Zodiac, the most boring film Fincher has done to date. Total snorefest, flat acting, no point, BORING.

That is a film which I just cannot comprehend all the love for.

Edit: Oops, I forgot he did Benjamin Button, I guess Fincher has completely lost all sense of The Interesting.

Edit again: DANG! How could I forget The Return?? Returning to the list yet again....

Edited by Persona

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Not only is it De Palma's most fully realized film, but it it is pure Ellroy as well.

I beg to differ. De Palma entirely misses the boat on capturing the spirit of Ellroy's novel. It's far too self-conscious about its own noir qualities.

Edited by Ryan H.

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Wow. I thought I might revisit Tarnation tonight on Netflix. Taking a look there, Ebert gave it a four-star review, and the first six Netflix subscribers to comment gave it a One out of FIVE. Talk about a polarizing film!

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Winterbottom Schminterbottom.

One more comment here: We saw In This World together and upon leaving the theater I believe you were short of breath. I am not kidding, you were actually physically short of breath, wondering aloud what happened to Jamal and Enayat.

It should be on your list.

I'm going to stop commenting soon. Clearly I am enjoying this thread, and having fun conversations with myself.

Edited by Persona

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I beg to differ. De Palma entirely misses the boat on capturing the spirit of Ellroy's novel. It's far too self-conscious about its own noir qualities.

I can't find the link to Ellroy's epic interview on NPR a few weekends back. You know, the one in which he talks for a few minutes about how he is a Christian. Anyway, he loves the film so much that he actually wrote an essay explaining exactly why he loves the film so much. Ellroy's cherished value is literary self-awareness - so much so that he often claims: I love racist language. He is Melville 2.0.

Winterbottom Schminterbottom.

One more comment here: We saw In This World together and upon leaving the theater I believe you were short of breath. I am not kidding, you were actually physically short of breath, wondering aloud what happened to Jamal and Enayat.

It should be on your list.

I'm going to stop commenting soon. Clearly I am enjoying this thread, and having fun conversations with myself.

Yes, these are the memories I am filtering through here. A lot of Flickerings memories. A lot of screenings with you and others. Overstreet walking up to the Chicago Art Institute with a Coen bros t-shirt on. Many Music Box screenings. But over time the actual substance of In This World has faded far more than the people with whom I watched it.

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But over time the actual substance of In This World has faded far more than the people with whom I watched it.

How kind of you, I feel the same.

I've just been going over all the different lists in this thread and reasons why I even have some films on the list. The thing about In This World that sticks with me the most -- a thing which Ebert alludes to here -- is that mingling of reality and fiction and the incapability of anyone but the director in knowing which is which. I can't give a good example of another work that does this quite as well. One in which you are left stunned and concerned about another person, another culture, an event outside of your own reality -- and then you slowly wander back in your mind through the whole ordeal only to come to terms with the fact that only maybe the bulk of this story was real. But it doesn't matter. The notion that events like this unfold every day is strong enough to make the director's point. And I think that's what I struggled and wrestled with and loved most about In This World...

Edited by Persona

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The notion that events like this unfold every day is strong enough to make the director's point. And I think that's what I struggled and wrestled with and loved most about In This World...

Interesting, considering this is how Ellroy talks about what noir actually means. But this threatens to derail the thread. Back to the Music Box...

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But this threatens to derail the thread....

True. I am going back to revisit a couple of the older threads on Winterbottom. In This World and 9 Songs and Nine Songs. I'll comment there if need be.

Edited by Persona

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So, I went back to those and wondered why I don't have the gumption to admit that 9 Songs and Brown Bunny without a doubt belong on at least the "most important" list of the decade. Favorites? No. Most cultural currency? No doubt.

As does 29 Palms. Dear Abby: confused.

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I can't find the link to Ellroy's epic interview on NPR a few weekends back. You know, the one in which he talks for a few minutes about how he is a Christian. Anyway, he loves the film so much that he actually wrote an essay explaining exactly why he loves the film so much. Ellroy's cherished value is literary self-awareness - so much so that he often claims: I love racist language. He is Melville 2.0.

I'm aware of Ellroy's love for the film (though I do believe he did--initially at least--see a very different cut than the one was released in theaters, and that's what he wrote his essay about). But the author hardly has the final say about his or her own work, much less about adaptations of his or her own work. Ellroy's self-awareness is of a very different sort than De Palma's.

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So, I went back to those and wondered why I don't have the gumption to admit that 9 Songs and Brown Bunny without a doubt belong on at least the "most important" list of the decade. Favorites? No. Most cultural currency? No doubt.

As does 29 Palms. Dear Abby: confused.

You don't have the gumption to admit it because it's just not true. I haven't seen all of Nine Songs -- and I probably won't -- but I have seen the other two, and have come to the same conclusion on those as others here have regarding Nine Songs. That there isn't a whole lot of substance there, and that an important film about sex would probably be an interesting film to watch but it certainly wouldn't be any of these.

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there are some really shoddy films being mentioned here, it troubles me ever so. I'm really surprised that anyone could have liked Black Dahlia, let alone James Ellroy. I didn't think it didn't stay true to his style, but that it completely lacked his mastery of narrative structure. It's a complicated novel: a lot of threads going in all directions, and when they come together, it's a revelation. Whereas the film, it's a lot of insinuated directions and one big confusing mess at the end. I absolutely didn't feel the same sense of intrigue in the film as the novel, nor did I feel the darker sides of the characters were explored with anywhere near as much nuance.

As for Winterbottom: he's so darn hit and miss. When he hits, he gets it right on the mark. I certainly found In this world a compelling watch, however my two personal fave films of his are Wonderland (I know, wrong decade) and the marvelous A Cock and Bull Story. The latter, I think, certainly belongs on the list. I'm personally very excited to see London Fields when it comes out. As for Nine Songs - talk about a yawn fest. Such hideous acting, such bad dialogue, such dull music, and even the sex doesn't liven it up. I actually ended up forwarding through the sex scenes to get to the songs, and found myself yelling at the tele quite a lot *will you just get over yourselves you boring pretentious d!ckheads*. Anyway, a question: can something have cultural currency if all it does is send it's audience to sleep? (FWIW, the people I've spoken to about it that have seen it have unequivocally agreed with my assessment)

Ain't seen Brown Bunny so won't comment.

Edited by gigi

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there are some really shoddy films being mentioned here, it troubles me ever so. I'm really surprised that anyone could have liked Black Dahlia, let alone James Ellroy. I didn't think it didn't stay true to his style, but that it completely lacked his mastery of narrative structure. It's a complicated novel: a lot of threads going in all directions, and when they come together, it's a revelation. Whereas the film, it's a lot of insinuated directions and one big confusing mess at the end. I absolutely didn't feel the same sense of intrigue in the film as the novel, nor did I feel the darker sides of the characters were explored with anywhere near as much nuance.

Agreed, gigi.

(That said, I did mention that I was going to give DAHLIA another shot to impress me in the next week or so, and I'll be curious to see if my thoughts change at all.)

Edited by Ryan H.

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Hmmmmm. Thinking out loud: how about Uzak and The Death of Mr Lazarescu? Both are films that stayed with me for a long time, that herald a new kind of film making for their respective regions, and also are distinctly dealing with 21st century concerns.

Edited by gigi

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Hmmmmm. Thinking out loud: how about <i>Uzak</i> and <i>The Death of Mr Lazarescu</i>? Both are films that stayed with me for a long time, that herald a new kind of film making for their respective regions, and also are distinctly dealing with 21st century concerns.

Lazarescu is great candidate.

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Prodigal son, here, late to the party.

The first three are easy. The rest will take some thinking.

1. Dogville

2. The Son

3. Pan's Labyrinth

About A Boy

About Schmidt

Adam's Apples

Adaptation

After The Wedding

Amelie

The Assassination of Jesse James

Born into Brothels

Capote

Dirty Pretty Things

The Diving Bell & The Butterfly

Gosford Park

High Fidelity

I'm Not There

In Bruges

Into The Wild

Italian For Beginners

The Lord of the Rings

The Man Without A Past

Matchstick Men

The Merchant Of Venice

Napoleon Dynamite

O Brother Where Art Thou

Once

Open Range

Passion of the Christ, The

Pieces of April

Rivers & Tides

Silent Light

Son Of Man

The Station Agent

U23D

Up

Ushpizin

The Woodsman

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Shoot, Ron! I didn't put Pieces of April in my Top Possibilities, and I don't think I put any of the Dardennes! Shoot shoot shoot, and now if I go back and try to edit it, the board will consume me in ass-eyed matrix coding that neither descends nor is fun. what is a boy to do?

Nice list. PS Thanks for introducing me to Adam's Apples, btw. I forgot that was you until I saw your list.

YOU WOULD THINK ALL THE BLACK DAHLIA HATERS WOULD JUST GET OVER IT AND PICK ON MY GARDEN STATE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD

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High Fidelity was 2000?!

Double triple shoot! Shoot I say again!

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High Fidelity and Italian for Beginners. Two great catches that will make this even tougher. It will be interesting to see how much Dogme ends up on others' lists.

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High Fidelity and Italian for Beginners. Two great catches that will make this even tougher. It will be interesting to see how much Dogme ends up on others' lists.

I didn't even consider films like Festen or The King is Alive because I didn't think they were made this decade?! sheesh, this is getting really hard.

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FWIW, vjmorton's picks, in alphabetical order:

CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS (Andrew Jarecki, USA)

THE CHILD (Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Belgium)

DOGVILLE (Lars von Trier, Denmark)

4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS (Cristian Mungiu, Romania)

GRIZZLY MAN (Werner Herzog, USA)

MEMENTO (Christopher Nolan, USA)

LA PIANISTE (Michael Haneke, France/Austria)

SILENT LIGHT (Carlos Reygadas, Mexico)

SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR (Roy Andersson, Sweden)

TIME OUT (Laurent Cantet, France)

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I guess The King is Alive, Italian For Beginners, Open Hearts, Dogville (which apparently is technically Dogme #151, believe it or not. But then Rushmore is Dogme #180-182, so...) are the only noteworthy Dogme films from this decade. Or at least, the ones that gained enough attention to get broader distribution than the rest.

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Dogville contains a thousand props, has (narrated) sound produced apart from image, contains optical work, contains temporal and geographic location, and the director is credited. It may be many of our #1 picks in the Top Ten from the decade, however, it is in no way, shape or form a dogme film. Insofar as dogme is concerned, it is an abomination.

Morton's picks are great, too.

Shoot. Memento. And probably more.

Edited by Persona

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